Startup News: Northvolt develops battery made from sustainable materials

Northvolt, the Swedish EV battery maker, has announced the development of a sodium-ion battery that could potentially power coming generations of electric vehicles without using costly and scarce raw materials.

According to a company press release, “Northvolt’s validated cell is more safe, cost-effective, and sustainable than conventional nickel, manganese, and cobalt or iron phosphate chemistries and is produced with minerals such as iron and sodium that are abundant on global markets.

The company said that the sodium-ion technology underpinning the new battery will serve for now as the foundation for Northvolt’s “next-generation energy storage solutions.”

According to Bloomberg, though the first sodium-ion cells are designed primarily for energy storage plants, coming iterations may be able to deliver higher levels of energy needed to power electric vehicles. Bloomberg wrote that Northvolt is increasing its battery production in Sweden and has plans to build factories in both Germany and Canada.

Since its founding in 2016, the company has raised more than $9 billion in both equity and debt and has generated more than $55 billion in orders for its batteries from automakers including BMW, Volvo, and Volkswagen. The company has said it plans to go public, though it hasn’t given a date.

Neuralink raises $43M from group led by Peter Thiel’s venture fund

Neuralink gets plenty of media attention because of the ambitious declarations of its famous founder, Elon Musk. In recent years, the man who launched Tesla and SpaceX has said that Neuralink’s devices, which can be implanted in a human skull, can eventually help blind people regain their eyesight and cure various neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Apparently, a lot of Silicon Valley smart money is taking Musk seriously. Last week, TechCrunch reported that Neuralink has raised an additional $43 million in venture capital led by Founders Fund, which famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel oversees, according to an SEC filing.

Founded in 2016, Fremont, Calif.-based Neuralink has developed a device that can implant thin threads inside a patient’s skull that are connected to a chip that contains electrodes. According to TechCrunch, “brain-signal-reading implants are a decades-old technology but Neuralink’s ostensible innovation lies in making the implants wireless and increasing the number of implanted electrodes.” The company’s last-known valuation, as of August 2023, was $3.45 billion.

Figure is seeking an IPO for its lending arm

Like many other startups, fintech company Figure Technologies is eyeing the IPO market – but only for one of its business lines.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that the company is working with several investment banks on taking its lending arm, Lendco, public in the first half of 2024 at a valuation of between $2 billion to $3 billion. Lendco specializes in mortgage financing and bridge loans. “No final decision has been made and the timing and valuation of the IPO could change,” Bloomberg added. Bloomberg also reported that Figure’s digital asset arm, which would remain private, is seeking to raise an additional $50 million.

San Francisco-based Figure was founded in 2018 by its CEO, Mike Cagney, a successful tech entrepreneur who also started SoFi Technologies, an online personal-finance company that went public in 2021 via a SPAC and has a market cap of roughly $7 billion. Figure’s last known valuation, as of May 2021, was $3.3 billion.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

Please Read These Important Legal Notices & Disclosures

The information and material presented in this article is provided for your informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer by Forge Global, Inc., Forge Securities LLC or any of its affiliates (collectively, "Forge") to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities and may not be used or relied upon in connection with any offer or sale of securities. An offer or solicitation can be made only through the delivery of final offering document(s) and purchase agreement and will be subject to the terms and conditions and risks delivered in such documents.

To the extent information about or defining specific terms is provided herein, Forge makes no representations as to its accuracy and has no duty to update such information. Such information is based on Forge’s experience and the meanings and connotations of terms as Forge typically uses and interprets them. Others may construe such terms differently, and you should do your own research and consult with financial, legal and tax professionals regarding any such concepts included herein.

This article does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. Registered representatives of Forge Securities LLC do not (1) advise any member on the merits or prudence of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax, or transactional advisory services. Securities referenced in this article may be offered by Forge Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Forge Securities LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forge Global, Inc. Certain affiliates may act as principals in such transactions. Forge Data LLC is an affiliate of Forge Global, Inc. and Forge Securities LLC.

Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative, involving a high degree of risk, and investors should be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks and investors should conduct their own, independent due diligence regarding the investment, including obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections and legal or investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment. Past performance Is not indicative of future results.